Association of Low Striatal Dopamine D2Receptor Availability With Nicotine Dependence Similar to That Seen With Other Drugs of Abuse

Christoph Fehr, Igor Yakushev, Nina Hohmann, Hans-Georg Buchholz, Christian Landvogt, Hanna Deckers, Alexandra Eberhardt, Marie Kläger, Michael N. Smolka, Armin Scheurich, Thomas Dielentheis, Lutz G. Schmidt (+4 others)
2008 American Journal of Psychiatry  
Objective: All drugs of abuse induce a phasic dopamine release within the striatum that does not undergo habituation. Prolonged substance consumption impairs the natural function of the mesolimbic dopamine system, as shown by a decrease in the availability of striatal dopamine 2 (D 2 ) receptors in patients suffering from cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, and alcohol dependence. However, it is unclear whether similar changes can also be observed in heavy-smoking nicotine-dependent smokers. Method:
more » ... t smokers. Method: In vivo D 2 /D 3 receptor availability was determined with [ 18 F]fallypride positron emission tomography in 17 heavy-smoking nicotine-dependent subjects and in 21 age-matched never-smoking comparison subjects. The smokers were scanned twice: first, during a period of usual consumption and second, 24 hours after smoking cessation. Results: Independent of the withdrawal status, the nicotine-dependent smokers displayed significantly less availability of D 2 /D 3 receptors within the bilateral putamen functionally covering parts of the dorsal striatum, as compared to the never-smoking subjects. Nicotine craving under the consumption condition correlated positively with D 2 /D 3 receptor availability within the ventral striatum but negatively with D 2 /D 3 receptor availability within the anterior cingulate and inferior temporal cortex. Conclusions: Similar to other types of substance abuse, nicotine dependence is associated with low availability of dorsal striatal D 2 /D 3 receptors. In contrast to previous findings on abstinent alcohol-dependent patients, nicotine craving seems to be maintained by a region-specific shift in D 2 /D 3 receptor availabilities, with higher availability within the ventral striatum but lower availability within the anterior cingulate and inferior temporal cortex. (Am J Psychiatry 2008; 165:507-514)
doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07020352 pmid:18316420 fatcat:3c3ataijjngspejjcosknsjkye